Laser hair removal is everywhere these days! From television commercials, magazine advertisements, and radio spots to giant billboards looming above freeways, people all over the country have learned that laser hair removal is fast, convenient, and more affordable than ever. This technological trend has been embraced by both women and men. The most requested hair removal area for women is the Brazilian area and underarms, while for men it is typically the back.
Hard wax, which is also known as hot wax, is a type of depilatory wax that is applied directly to the skin and removed without a strip. It is perfect for sensitive areas of the body, such as the underarms, face, and bikini area. The benefits of using a quality hot wax include the ability to remove short, stubborn hair; ease of use; and reduced redness and irritation of the skin.
The Roots of Waxing FeaturedWritten by Lilliane Caron
Hair removal may not be considered the most glamourous aspect of the aesthetic industry, but it is one of the most lucrative. While there are many areas within the industry that may seem more glamourous, such as makeup or tanning, the reality is that hair removal is relevant to both female and male clients and is generally seen as a necessity rather than a luxury.
Waxing dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who removed unwanted body hair by formulating a wax made with beeswax. Although beeswax is still an important part of quality depilatory waxes, a quality wax relies on more than just beeswax to be suitable and effective in removing hair. Today, premium waxes are typically made from beeswax, quality resins, and aromatherapy oils.
Waxing for the first time is no walk in the park. Honeymoon memories haunted by flashbacks of painful chafing, bumps, or ingrown hairs can be avoided with a little planning.
When a couple decides to wax, especially if it is the first time for either one of them, the first service should be scheduled at least six to eight weeks before the honeymoon. This early appointment will give the couple enough time to get at least two waxes before the honeymoon.
Triple filtered, aromatic, enviro-conscious. Wax has come a long way from the icky-sticky, burnt, rubber-scented resin that was first made available on the market. With so many variations (cream, gel, hard, soft, and roll-on) and sugaring hair removal making a comeback from the 1800s, offering epilation services can be enticing. Yet, with hair removal businesses hitting the market with the resolve of offering this singular service, professionals cannot afford not rendering the convenience of waxing to their client base, both men and women.
The pursuit of soft, smooth, hair-free skin is sought after by many women and men who seek out the best possible tools, gadgets, and methods that will bring about smooth skin that is long lasting.
Hair removal is a practice that has been a part of human history since ancient times, and maybe even before! As time passes and trends come and go, technology has advanced and refined different hair-removal techniques, including threading, laser, and electrolysis. In addition to knowing about the different forms of hair removal, it is important for professionals to understand hair growth patterns and the role it plays in hair removal treatments. It is also beneficial to be able to identify different types of hair.
Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Nearly half a million procedures were performed in 2013, according to the most recent data from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and that figure does not include procedures performed by non-dermatologists. As there are now more options for laser hair removal than ever, it is important to select the right modality for each client.
Waxing can be an effective and lucrative means of hair removal for a spa. In fact, according to a study done by the American Laser Centers, women who wax will spend an average of $23,000 on hair removal in a lifetime. From my own experience, I have estimated my total waxing costs to be $72,000! That is a segment on which beauty businesses cannot afford to miss out. However, in the skin care industry, not all waxing services are created equal; one bad review on a spa’s social media page could jeopardize its waxing business. If you choose to offer waxing services to clients, it is imperative that you do so in the most professional manner.
A woman may learn about the many signs of perimenopause from her doctor, mother, and/or peers with the most talked-about topics being hot flashes, weight gain, libido, and mood swings – not the beard or moustache they are growing! Women attempt many different strategies to hide or minimize unsightly and embarrassing hair growth, with an increasing trend towards laser hair removal. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over one million laser hair reduction procedures were performed in 2013, ranking it fourth in popularity with other minimally-invasive procedures, including chemical peels and microdermabrasion. As a professional waxer and laser technician, I am always experiencing the many facets of hormonal skin and hair changes while learning about the limitations and benefits of the technology and ingredients aestheticians use on a daily basis. The bottom line is that women and men both experience unwanted hair growth and want simple solutions that do not cost too much, but are effective at helping them achieve the results they desire.
In the world of beauty, the term “laser hair removal” has come to encompass a variety of techniques that remove unwanted hair by zapping it away with the use of a light source. When cosmetic lasers were first cleared by the FDA for permanent hair reduction in the late 1990s, it sparked a new trend in the beauty industry and brought the term “laser hair removal” into popular culture. However, not every form of light-based technology used for permanent hair reduction is actually a laser. Additionally, even within the laser category, there are different types of laser beams with different wavelengths and properties. Knowing about different types of light-based hair removal technologies, and how they work, will allow you to provide your best professional service to your clients and help them achieve the best results.
Believe it or not, the average spa client is savvy on procedures. They know what characteristics to look for in a service provider and will try everything from shaving to laser hair removal to get the results they desire. The question is: are you helping them achieve their goals? Clients want the best eyebrow, bikini or back wax; you want to be the go-to spa for a flawless hair removal procedure. But what makes one aesthetician or wax technician stand out among the masses? They perform concise consultations at every service and they know their clientele. In my experience as a spa owner, operator and educator, I believe that every aesthetic professional who wants to excel in hair removal services should have adept knowledge in three prominent client concerns: growth patterns and changes, ingrown hair management, and age appropriate waxing.
Excess hair presents an embarrassing problem as many women around the world participate in some form of hair removal. While cosmetic concerns are a determining factor in hair removal, some clients may be dealing with a more serious issue. Unwanted hair may not just be cosmetic when presented with a client suffering from excessive hair growth but it can also be a sign of a medical condition. Having unwanted hair is an issue that attributes to an emotional burden, such as low self-esteem and depression, in the individual.
I, perhaps like you, am not a physician. The information we share here is not a clinical guideline or recommendation but a compilation of experiences from manufacturers and users since lasers were introduced in May of 1961. The old maxim is not if you will see complications but how will you handle complications when they arise. If you are using light to perform procedures successfully then there will be an occasion where the result or reaction to the treatment will be more than expected. The reasons are numerous and sometimes uncontrollable. Here we will review the important things to know and remind you of those things to be avoided. The list of possible complications is commonly known: blistering, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and/or scarring.
Ohm's Law is the expression of voltage, current and resistance in an electrical circuit. First, we must define these parameters:
Voltage is defined as electrical force or pressure. A battery has voltage when it is electrically charged, and ready to do electrical work. This is similar to water pressure in a water system. When the water tower is full, it has pressure (voltage) and is ready to do work when the faucet is open.
What Electricity is and Where it Comes From
Electricity is a fundamental force in nature. It is all around us. We are virtually bathing in it at all times in the form of radio and television signals, microwave energy, radar, etcetera. Furthermore, our bodies run on electrical impulses; messages sent from our brains, through the nerves to the muscles causing contractions, both voluntary and involuntary.
Electricity is an electron in motion, and electrons are the negatively charged particles, which orbit the nucleus of an atom. In order to understand electricity, it is best to visualize it in some way. Think of the moon orbiting around the earth. The earth is analogous to the nucleus of an atom, and the moon is analogous to the electron. The whole system of the earth and the moon is then analogous to the simplest atom in nature, the hydrogen atom.
The word “integumentary” (the skin), which means “covering” is derived from “in” or “en.” The word system is defined as a collection of cells that perform a particular function.
The human body has 10 distinct systems (in alphabetical order):
Wintertime should be the peak of the hair removal season. Cold weather keeps the skin covered, so growing out unsightly underarm, leg and bikini-line hair for the best hair removal results is not so challenging. But as most women come out of hibernation from hair removal and begin to embrace the warm sun and longer days, they suddenly seem to realize that the furry body they grew into during the winter is not the growing trend. Hair removal has become so mainstream that women are now requesting forehead and neck clean-ups so their wispy little hairs do not interfere with a perfect sleek ponytail.
Both men and women seek hair removal services, whether for the face, under the arms, on the legs, or elsewhere on the body. While some patients may initially simply request stand-alone hair removal procedures, as skin health professionals we must address more than just removing unwanted hair, as many hair removal procedures have the potential to harm surrounding skin. Pre-treating skin and performing hair removal procedures that mitigate negative side effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and ingrown hairs instead of just eliminating unwanted hair will maintain and optimize the health of the skin in the process.
Roses are red … Violets are blue; sugar is sweet … but is it the right choice for you?
This is the question that all salons should be asking. Many factors fall in to this question. The main one being sanitation. In today's day age, sanitation could make or break a salon. Luckily there has been a simple product around for generations that happily addresses this concern: sugar!
For 22 years now, I have been sharing with my global audiences a simple fact relating to sugar: Natural healing properties of sugar help to prevent infection and promote healing.
We, as the consumers, have a tendency to spend a noted amount of money to rejuvenate our faces and at best our décolletés. But what happens to the rest of the largest organ of the body? It cries out for help by mimicking the Sahara, an alligator, the Rocky Mountains … well you get the idea.
Now, I can write this article to you my colleagues, my friends and my customers as a nice, light but quirky piece with some educational value, however I decided to simply have a heart to heart with you. Having the pleasure and privilege of meeting people from all walks of life, from all over the world, I have met incredibly knowledgeable people who go the distance to create healthy choices for skin care.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Laser hair removal procedures in 2010 totaled to 936, 121, which reflected a -26.9% decrease from 2009 – most likely as a result of a flexing economy.1 It is a procedure, however, that continues to be popular.
Lasers (including the CO2 laser) were introduced in dermatology and surgery as early as the 1960s.2 The CO2 laser became more popular during the 1990s for skin resurfacing to improve wrinkles, dischromias, scars, atrophic scars, pitted acne scars and others.3 These pioneering procedures also meant longer recovery periods.
Since arriving on the scene in the late 1990s, the laser hair removal industry has gone through a metamorphosis. The technology has changed, the accessibility has changed, and in many states, the regulations have changed. While it can be tough to keep up with all of the regulatory changes, emerging laws, statutes and regulations are helping to strengthen our business and improve the overall client experience.
I know this from my own experience in the industry. I opened my first medical spa in 2003 in Scottsdale, Arizona with my business partner Matthew Gould. Immediately we noticed a problem.
If you don't already cater your services to the men in your vicinity, or if you limit your services to haircuts, you are selling yourself short. That is to say, you are selling your business short on its potential profitability.
Haven't you noticed "for men only – hair care & more" places popping up all over North America? And, it's fast becoming a hot commodity! So don't wait until one pops open in your neighborhood before you realize that all those guys could be your customers!
What is amazing to me is not that threading has recently become so popular, but that it has taken so long to catch the attention of men and women in the U.S. Threading has been around for centuries, mostly in the near and far east Asia. An acquired skill, it was passed on from one generation to the next in countries such as India, Turkey, Egypt, and China. The process itself is simple, yet like all skilled techniques, one has to pay attention to the details to become more proficient. The best part of threading from the side of the practitioner is that it requires no investment in equipment. The thread and the skill to perform are all that is needed.
My Experience with Threading
Repetition is the mother of perfection, and that is how I acquired the skill.
As a former spa owner, I had many clients come to us looking for an alternative method of facial hair removal (other than waxing or tweezing) due to chemical peels or other skin conditions. What is unique to threading is that it is a technique that requires an aesthetic ability on the side of the practitioner.
As women it may be hard for us to relate to daily shaving of a facial beard but we all know the potential hazards of shaving our legs; be it cuts, nicks, ingrown hairs, or even an angry razor burn, we know the pitfalls associated with the shaving ritual. For men, besides having to deal with daily shaving, consideration for skin condition (i.e. oily or sensitized etc.) and beard type (i.e. coarse, fine etc.) must also be taken into account.
For many salons and professionals, the arrival of summer brings a marked increase in our waxing services. Certainly the traditional bikini wax becomes something that we see more in the summer, but how about the now-famous Brazilian Bikini Wax? What I have found interesting about this service is when it hit our industry about 10 years ago, it hit with a vengeance and is still one of the most attended classes and asked for service. It took about three years to move from exclusively female to now include the men.
Professional body sugaring continues to demonstrate how multi-beneficial it really is when the correct education is provided for technique and theory. And you should have an opportunity to learn even more once you are certified so that you fully comprehend the variety of treatments applications your salon/spa can offer with it… from hair removal treatment options to “skin conditioning treatments” which you guessed it – includes eczema and psoriasis.
“Education is the key.” How many times have you heard that statement? How many times have you either thought it or, if you’re like me, actually smiled and said it nicely to one of your clients? When it pertains to hair reduction with the use of light therapies such as laser and IPL, this is an unbelievably true statement.
Day after day I get the same questions – “How exactly does it work?”, “What’s the difference between IPL and laser?”, Will I ever have to shave or wax again?”, “How many times will I have to come back?”, “Is it really permanent?”, “Will it help prevent or work on my ingrown hair?”, “I have dark skin; can I get laser hair removal?”, and the best “Well, you do laser hair removal – how come you still have hair?”.
When I go to the doctor’s office, it is important for me to see their credentials on the wall of their office or in the hallway. Credentials also set you apart from the rest; it inspires confidence in your clients and colleagues that you have taken that extra step in training.
- As a client, should I be concerned with your academic competency?
- Would I know if you chose the right training course for the procedure that I am requesting?
- What was the duration of the course that you took?
- Was it an academic State approved credentialed physician supervised hands-on training program?
- Was your course over a weekend in a hotel room?
- Were there pertinent laser safety issues that will affect you the user and me the patient taught in your curriculum?
- How often do you practice this procedure?
Most professionals would agree that whether you’re 12 years or 12 months into the skin care industry, one thing is certain – there is no such thing as a simple service. Having advancements in technology, treatments, and skin care products, skin care professionals need to analyze all aspects of their client’s service needs. This is especially true for clients who suffer from hyperpigmentation, sun damage, thinning skin, couperose, hormonal changes, and skin sensitivity. After all, there’s nothing more disappointing than performing an upper lip wax on a client and having an end result of burned skin or hyperpigmentation develop over the waxed areas.
Salons, spas, laser treatment centers, and medical spas all competitively and capably offer a wide variety of professional hair removal services today. These special services are very affordable for clients, highly desired, low cost, and highly profitable for you. However, hair removal services are rarely marketed effectively by most professional salons. When marketed properly, professional hair removal services will quickly make you known as ‘THE BEST’ hair removal specialist in your area. Hair removal really should be one of your most important specialty services promoted aggressively throughout the year for women, men, and teens.
A recent review of our liability claims for the cosmetic laser industry showed an interesting trend: Many of the claims for laser burns resulted from the operator using power settings higher than recommended by the laser manufacturer. When queried as to why this had happened, in more than one instance the operator confessed their client was eager for results and the laser professional wanted to accommodate them. Interesting…
For years, I have given speeches and written articles advising permanent cosmetic professionals to not let the client control them. Now it turns out the same situation is happening in the laser industry.
If a waxing professional double dips, begins waxing sans gloves, or does not store non-disposables, like tweezers and scissors, in an antibacterial autoclave between clients… run for the door! Often times, these unsanitary practices are overlooked by clients who believe that hot wax kills all bacteria or do not take the time to think about what was just waxed minutes prior to a seemingly harmless routine eyebrow wax. As the CEO and founder of a skin care company with years of experience behind the table as an esthetician and years managing a staff as a spa owner, I stress sanitary practices to all aestheticians and salon owners that cross my path. It is something I am relentless about. Proper sanitation and sterilization. It does not matter how good your service is, clients see cleanliness. It must start with this! Clients make decisions within the first seven seconds of entering a salon or spa. What does your spa look like?
The pursuit of “hairless happiness” has been in existence long before the earliest days of recorded history. With no real scientific understanding of the skin and body, these old-world aestheticians practiced often-disastrous methods of trial and error using untested ingredients from the toxic to the bizarre. Far removed from its humble early beginnings, the beauty industry of today now finds itself revolutionized by a cosmic array of next-generation medical and aesthetic technologies that are rewriting how we dare to go bare.
No advancement has made more of an impression on the hair removal industry than the cosmetic laser.
Out of the 11.7 million medical aesthetic procedures performed in 2007, laser hair removal accounted for over 1.4 million treatments and 12 percent of the industry's massive growth. This once unheard of treatment is now the third most sought after non-surgical procedure, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The ability to gain self-confidence by ridding oneself of hair in embarrassing places and freedom from the monotony of shaving are just some of the benefits individuals seek through laser hair removal.
Two forms of wax are used in spas, with one being a 'must have' hair removal tool that has been used in the beauty industry for generations, and the other being a traditional barrier therapy utilized for hydrating the skin for as long as skin care has been performed. Both deem a closer look at for safe use, epsecially as spa clients are demanding higher levels of safety now. Spas must answer client demands for obviously safe protocols, or lose them, one at a time, to spas that do.
In electrolysis, each professional has her own working habits, her own personal touch. These differences, from one electrologist to another, are sometimes the object of inquiries even intense discussions. On the list of subjects that are the most controversial in electrolysis, is the one about the best interval of time between treatments. How many weeks should go by between each session? Two, three, four, six, or eight weeks? There are many answers from one electrologist to another. At the second rank on the list, is the question about whether or not a temporary method of hair removal should be used between sessions.
While in most states laser and other light-based treatments remain the prerogative of physicians, the growth of medical spas, and the greater consumer awareness about these devices mean that aestheticians, whether working with a physician or at a day spa, will encounter questions about these treatment options. Much has been published in various professional skin care publications about lasers and light-based devices. The following article looks at lasers and light-based devices from a more technical, technological angle. What exactly is a laser? How do lasers work? How do lasers destroy a specific target without injuring the surrounding tissue? These are the types of questions answered in this review.
As electrologists, it is essential for us to understand sight and how vision problems may impact both us and the patients we serve. Basic knowledge about the effects of aging on our vision and the importance of proper lighting will help us provide quality treatment.
The practice of electrolysis will not harm our eyesight; however, vision does decline with age. This does not mean you cannot study to become an electrologist if you are over 40, nor does it mean you will have to give up your electrology practice at the age of 65.
We are so lucky to live in a time where options are in abundance. And we certainly have more options than ever when it comes to hair removal methods: shaving, electrolysis, laser, threading, waxing, and … here's where the confusion comes in… we have sugaring.
That's correct, sugaring is a validated option of its own just like all the other options. So, why is it that the mass of people (other than trained professional sugaring practitioners) categorize sugaring as waxing? They believe that sugaring is just another form of waxing, which would be understandable if the technique and theory were the same, but they are not; in fact, they are quite opposite.
So then, why call it waxing or even sugar-waxing? Well, I believe I can shed light on the issue to explain how this came about by using the following analogy.
In our not-so-distant past, the pursuit of smooth, hairless skin drove people to extreme measures. They would scrape their suffering skin with seashells, scour themselves raw with sand, even apply disgusting concoctions consisting of “resin, pitch, white vine or ivy gum extracts, ass’ fat, she-goat’s gall, bat’s blood, and powdered viper” in an effort to—WHAT? – gross their hair out of growing? Sounds painful, smelly, and frighteningly drastic, but it is a clear indication of how much value is placed on hair-free skin. What these women—and men—needed, however, was a calming, skilled someone to take their hairy hand and say, “Let’s work together on this and you’ll be smooth faster than you can say, ‘Tigris and Euphrates’.”
What to Know before Purchasing an LED Device for your Spa
When it comes to anti-aging treatments, aestheticians today certainly have many choices. From lasers to peels to oxygen facials, spas can offer countless ways for their clients to combat the signs of aging. One popular new option is LED (light-emitting diode) therapy. This treatment involves exposing the skin to specific LED lights, which in turn can stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Don't be shy take the whole bowl! I think it's absolutely amazing that something like sugar can play such havoc on our health when ingested, yet when used externally it can be so wonderful in helping to create order in our outer most skin cells' appearance You might be thinking that "creating order" is somewhat of a peculiar way to describe skin, but in reality the skin's structure can certainly expose a less than orderly skin care regimen. I get so frustrated and very excited all in the same moment whenever I take a look at someone's skin and its most noticeable characteristics are patchy skin cells, sallow appearance, and worst of all ingrown hairs.
A couple of decades ago, offering cream and sugar for anything other than coffee or tea would have sounded quite ridiculous! But in today's realm of aesthetics and cosmetics promoting coffee and chocolate to soothe even the jitteriest skin, or offering sugar as a real hair removal solution to an age-old problem is very realistic. And as post treatment, applying a good trans-dermal cream to hydrate and moisturize the skin is simply a great, soothing and natural way to complete your sugaring service.
Temporary hair removal was first noted historically in the Far East, where it has long been a part of traditional culture. Hair removal was performed on brides so that their skin would be pure, soft and smooth on their wedding night. Sugar was prepared according to the family tradition, with ingredients including sugar, honey, and lemon.
After many years of 'thin-is-in' for the eyebrow, models and movie stars are showing a thicker, stronger brow for 2006. This year's brow is both highly angled and highly groomed, but sometimes appears casual with less of a defined arch. Not everyone can wear the latest thicker brow style, especially if their own brows are thinned because of hair removal, hair loss as a result of aging, or too few hairs for other reasons.
Superstar of the 1940s, Rita Hayworth was known for her signature "widow's peak" hairline. A "natural" mark of beauty? Well, not really. That perfect beautiful hairline was created by electrolysis treatments! Other superstars, such as Cher and Elizabeth Taylor, also received electrolysis that added to their professional persona, and, it is perfection that really sets electrolysis in a class by itself. Because this is a hair-by-hair removal system, great precision is possible. A skilled electrologist can accomplish flawless hairlines, eyebrows, back of the neck and even shaping a man's entire chest.
Light based technologies have revolutionized aesthetic procedures and medicine. Lasers are at the pinnacle of these technologies because of their brightness and intensity, but significant improvements in a wide variety of cosmetic conditions are also afforded by other light sources such as IPL's (Intense Pulsed Light Systems), LED banks (Light Emitting Diodes), and other Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) modalities. Anyone working in the field of aesthetics should have a good understanding of the basic principles behind laser and light based therapies whether or not you are actually treating clients with these devices because they impact so many conditions in so many people.